My phone rings, waking me up in the dead of night. I must have drifted off at some point during my existential crisis. My pillow is warm and coated with a layer of sweat. It’s hot, as usual. Since I’m upstairs, all the hot air in the house tends to rise up to my bedroom. My fan doesn’t help one bit.
I hastily slide across to answer the call to avoid waking anybody up. They shouldn’t be able to hear it anyway. Jack leaves the television on anyway, so it practically drowns out any sounds. Let’s hope nobody ever breaks in during the night. We’d be an easy target.
“Hello?” I answer.
“Yo Kyle, you up?”
It’s Cole. Probably another one of his bored, late-night, high-out-of-his-mind, introspective rants.
“I am now. What is it, are you okay? Did you come up with a solution for world peace again?”
“No, but I’ll get on that eventually. Right now I’m about to make you love me even more than you already do.”
He takes a moment to inhale and exhale.
“Well don’t just leave me hanging, tell me!”
“Okay, okay. So like, there’s this old barn off of the road by the construction plant.”
“Let me guess, you want to try to hotbox it?”
“Dude, honestly that’d be lit, but nah. They’re having a bangin’ party there and there’s some sick bands playing.”
“Do you have any clue what time it is right now?”
“Aw, come on. I’ll have my buddy Jason pick you up. Can you be ready in like ten minutes?”
“Dammit, Cole. I just want some sleep.”
That’s not true. I need to escape. This would be good for me. Maybe not physically, but definitely mentally.
“Yeah just give me a sec to throw on some clothes.”
“Hell yeah! We’ll kick it in the pit!”
So you’re probably wondering how I’m going to manage sneaking out at two in the morning. Well, it’s actually easier than you think. I simply turn up my television to present the illusion that I’m there, open a window, climb onto the oak tree branch that rests just out from my window, and climb down. Trust me, when you’ve done it as many times as I have, it gets super easy.
I throw on my black hoodie, jeans, and Vans from the day prior, this time adding a ball-cap to cover my messy bedhead, and begin on my excursion. I gradually turn up my television volume. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit plays on the screen. I walk over to the window, sliding it up quietly. A blast of the cold winter air blows across my body, and disperses throughout the room. I put one leg out, then the next onto the tree limb. I’m waiting for the day that it breaks and sends me flailing downward ten feet.
I crawl down the limb to the trunk, and then to the ground. Pulling out my phone, I turn on the flashlight. The frozen grass lets out a crisp crunch with each step I take. I feel my pocket just to make sure my wallet is still there. The road is silent. The only sound is the wind rustling through what’s left of the leaves on the trees. Light dusts of snow graze my face. The sky above looks beautiful. Each star looks like a bright crystal. Sometimes I’ll lay out on my back on the ground and just stare up at them. If I look long enough, I begin to feel as though I’m moving towards them.
Back in the day, Dad and I would walk down the road to the old Johnson family pond and go night fishing. That was in the summer, of course. God, I miss that. We’d spend hours there, and he’d tell me some old stories about him and his dad, or read me a book. Suddenly a pair of yellow lights come over the hill, removing the reminiscent thoughts from my mind.
As the lights grow closer, I see the outline of an old Honda Civic. Light puffs of smoke emerge from the opening of the driver side window. The vehicle slowly creeps to a halt along the side of the road. Heavy bass thuds, and the passenger door swings open.
“Hop in, Miss Daisy!” yells Cole over the music.
Now Playing: “King for a Day” – Pierce the Veil (ft. Kellin Quinn)
He pushes the back of his seat forward so that I can crawl into the back. Crinkled up chip bags and empty soda and beer cans flood the floor. Smells of weed, cigarettes, and rotten pizza all clash together. Cole takes a hit of his joint and looks back at me with his slightly pink eyes, blowing the smoke all over me.
“You ready for tonight dude? Nice of you to join us.”
Cole turns around, chuckling.
“Anytime. Thanks for picking me up, Jase”
“No problem, man.”
I lean back against the soft, alcohol-stained seat and deeply breathe. It’s great to have a distraction. Maybe it’s not a very smart choice, but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get. Besides, it’s Cole. He’s always been a good friend to me. We’ve shared some good times together, and there’s never a dull moment. Something tells me tonight is going to be one we’ll remember. I can’t wait to get there. Finally an escape.
Now Playing: “Can You Feel My Heart” – Bring Me the Horizon